Thursday, January 24, 2013

Freeze Farm

The early-morning skies last Sunday were quite ominous.  It was a very unseasonal +7C that morning.  Dark skies like this aren't exactly common during winter-time.  I watched the weather roll in, and within minutes, the first of many snow squalls hit:
Snow squalls are interesting if you're inside warm by the fire with many furry friends at your feet.  If you're on the road and one of these babies hits, you'll gain new appreciation for road delineators, and if you can't see those, there are always hydro poles to guide you, preferably before they make contact with your front bumper.

You can't even make our barn out in the above photo, but it's there where it always is when I look out of my wide screen TV, a.k.a. the kitchen window.  When I was joking about the Transport Quebec mouthpiece talking about vizzie-billie-tee zee-roh in my earlier post, this is what he means.  Zero visibility.  The tractor might be 50 feet away from where I took my photo, and it's barely visible.

We had a great sunset Sunday evening when the skies cleared up:
Snow squalls are generally harbingers of colder weather.  But just how cold, well, let's just qualify it as c-o-l-d:
Conditions of -27C on Wednesday.  This morning the mercury read -24C.  Well, my zest for life just flew out the window with a forecast like that.  That pretty much sums things up these days.

I went to get our weekly flyers out of the mailbox when I got home this afternoon.  Eric was out in the woodshed splitting wood, and Cooper was shivering outside on alternating legs, (he spends a total of 60 seconds outside these days), so I figured I might as well make the trek to the mailbox and bring the flyers in.  The proverbial wimp in me wanted to rush into the house and cast my layers aside, and hug the wood stove like my life depended on it.  However, the true Canadian in me, said, "go ahead, get the flyers in the house, it won't kill ya".

With a windchill hovering around -30C, it's not just cold, it's freezing cold.  I wish I could adequately impress upon you how cold that feels, and unless you've experienced it, you can't possibly comprehend.  You know the dreaded brain-freeze you get from eating ice cream?  Well, you get the same thing during these temps, but you get it from simply inhaling.  That's how cold it is.  I could have thrown myself in a snow bank and let a swift death overcome me, and trust me, at these temps, it's just a matter of time before exposure does a person in.

It's not all aches and pains, though.  My new-used car?  It came with a remote starter.  Wheeeee! is the sound I make these mornings, watching my car start from the comfort of our warm house.  Actually, wheeee (minus the exclamation point) is also the sound the car makes when it starts on days this cold.  Hearing a car start in weather like this is painful.  Even the LCD display on the dash takes a while to come to life.

Another upside?  The sunsets:
Absolutely fabulous.  The peaks of snow in the forefront are man-made.  The city comes by with their big snow plow and blows the snow into the field across the street.  Given the windy conditions, our road would become narrower and narrower with each passing hour.  It basically buys the snow-plow operator a bit of time between his rounds.

Monday's forecast shows a high of -7C, which, while not T-shirt weather, will feel positively balmy when this cold spell finally breaks.

In the interim, I'll have to keep myself occupied by throwing yet another log onto the fire, picking up my knitting, and brewing another cuppa tea.  Survival of the fittest, Shim Farm-style.


Miriam said...

I recognize that as an inhabitant of Lotus Land I have no credibility when it comes to cold, but I DID grow up on the prairies, and what I miss is the squeaky dry crunch of snow underfoot. We don't get that here. Ever. Sloppy gush underfoot, on the other hand - we get a lot of that...

Shim Farm said...

Well, if you did grow up on the prairies, you have credibility! But like we say in Montreal - ahhh, it's a dry cold out west! Here, it's so damp and damn cold we're checking on the forecast every few hours, hoping for a break that's days away!

The squeaky crunch drives me nuts, as does the sound of planes overhead when it's -20. Like nails on a chalkboard. Give me slush and rubber boots any day!

We'll have this post-glacial crap in April at the rate we're going, and you'll be posting about harvesting your first radishes LOL! Your daffs will have wilted, as will your peonies! We'll still be shoveling, wondering why we're living in this infernal climate!

Count your blessings!

That said and done, I do enjoy the variety the seasons affords us, I just wish the variance wouldn't cover 70 degrees.

Ron said...

Wow, that's cold. I experienced such things occasionally in Minnesota, and it's painful.

Beautiful scenery in your photos, though.

I miss being out on the lake on a winter day, fishing for sunnies through the ice. If we still lived up there, I'd have built or bought me a nice fish house.

Robin said...

I've never been in a snow flurry. We finally just broke a cold snap here and are back in the 40s during the day. I felt like complaining because weather in the high 20s at night is not something I enjoy in a leaky house. You have me beat though. I can't even imagine being in weather that cold.

Shim Farm said...

Hi Ron, I knew you'd sympathize! Mind you, this morning it was only -19C, which is an exponential improvement over -28. We ice-fished as kids. Grew up on the Saint-Lawrence on a nice little bay full of sunnies. On good years, the ice would flash-freeze and you could see the fish under your feet. Those were good years! Now, you couldn't get me out on the ice for all the money in the world!

Hi Robin! I know just how you feel in your old, partly uninsulated, drafty, unfinished (need I go on?) house. The upside is when your work is done, you'll be more than toasty warm. Hang in there. Thankfully, the forecast shows much warmer temps for a few days. And then we just need to make it through February, and we'll nearly be there...

Hope you're feeling well ~ take it easy!


eagergridlessbeaver said...

..yeah, it hit us last week too..and sucked royally. A remote car starter would spoil A*..otherwise I love the idea..hehe

Less than 2 months left of winter..and for the record I would take snow and cold over sluch anyday!..slush makes my driveway slushy!

Robin said...

How is the weather treating you up there? With all the wild snow snows going on the last few days I was wondering if you got hit by any of it? Keep warm!

Shim Farm said...

Hey EGB...what if...what IF...this winter lasts longer than 2 months? What then LOL? I think I'll be ready for the looney-bin.

Seriously, buy A* a remote car starter. I cannot tell you how gratifying it is.

Hi Robin, we're, uh, surviving! Made it through the last round of snow, eyeing the forecast and saying a prayer to the weather gods. Hope you're keeping well!

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